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Freshman Studies Resource Guide: Use Databases

Where to Start

Image of Start position from a board gameThe Library has numerous electronic databases that provide full-text access to articles in magazines, newspapers, trade publications and scholarly journals. Where to start will depend on the research you are doing and the type of information you need to find.

If you know the name of the specific database, use the A-Z Listing.

To search for information on a broad topic:

Go to the DATABASES BY SUBJECT button on the homepage, then select the subject of your choice. You may find your topic falls under more than one potential category (e.g. Philosophy or Religion).

Image of the JET Library homepage buttons

Use a Multi-Disciplinary database, if you don't see your specific subject listed in Databases by Subject

To search for news, newspapers or current events:

If you know the TITLE of a specific magazine, newspaper or journal:

  • You can search for Print & Electronic Journals by Title or Subject. Note: this will restrict your searching to within one title only and is not recommended as a general search strategy.

Searching for broad topics (i.e., a paper on "sociology") will overwhelm you with non-specific sociology articles from any given database. In order to determine a more specific subject within Sociology (and therefore, appropriate keywords), consider the following strategies:

  • Check your notes: Did your professor either mention or provide a list of pre-approved topics?
  • Browse through a general reference or subject-specific encyclopedia on Sociology to get a better idea of the various topics
  • Write about something you either know about or have an interest in
  • Ask a Librarian!

How to Access Library Resources from Off-Campus

If you are off campus, navigate to database resources exactly as if you were on campus. When you attempt to enter either a restricted area or a subscription database, you will be asked to authenticate. Here's what you do:

  • Where prompted, enter your username and password as you would to login in for email or into canvas
  • Click the "Submit " button. That's it! At this point, you will be taken to the chosen resource.
  • Once authenticated, you will be able to access any of the databases or ereserves remotely.
  • So long as you are actively using the resource(s), you will not be prompted to reauthenticate, even if you switch databases. If idle, the system eventually times out after about 20 minutes or so.

Note: The authentication method was updated in January 2017 to username/password instead of a 14 digit barcode.

Here is a sample of what the authentication page looks like.

Problems connecting? If you receive strange errors or the system persistently hangs, follow the instructions in the left hand box titled "Off Campus Solution!" on this page.

Databases: If you know...

If you know the name of the database, then go to A-Z Databases for an alphabetized list of all JET databases. To search by subject area, go to the Databases by Subject page and select the appropriate one.

Video: How to Use a Database

(From: Lane Wilkinson, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga)

Nevermind: I'll search all databases at once

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How Do I...?

Image of robot standing next to a red questions mark